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ECO Plastics and Viridor agree supply deal

Europe – Europe’s leading plastic bottle recycler ECO Plastics has joined forces with UK recycler Viridor to help close the soft drinks packaging loop. The multi-million partnership will run for 12 months and see the latter supply 10 000 tonnes of plastic bottles throughout 2014 – or ‘almost 8% of ECO Plastics’ total capacity’.

This move reinforces a trend away from spot trading and instead towards industry developing long-term collaborations, the companies note. Some 35% of ECO Plastics’ feedstock is now supplied through such longer partnerships, with a target to reach 70% by the end of 2014.

‘Buying material on the spot market can at times deliver robust prices, but it provides very little certainty over future revenue levels,’ comments Jonathan Short, deputy chairman of ECO Plastics. ‘Crucially that makes it difficult to raise the finance necessary to invest in new technology, which in turn means that there are still valuable resources which can’t currently be recycled domestically.’ As it is becoming increasingly challenging to export waste material overseas, ‘we’re left with a choice’ between building new infrastructure and going back to landfill, says Short. Establishing longer partnerships is ‘fundamental to resolving that dilemma’.

Herman van der Meij, director of Viridor Resource Management, agrees that practical partnerships and cross-sector collaborations are ‘essential’ to reaching a true circular economy. ‘This deal shows leading businesses working together across the value chain, from goods manufacturing, retail, collection and sorting to reprocessing and remanufacture,’ he asserts.

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